Dorset Work Matters

Dorset Work Matters is a joint project between Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Mental Health Forum and helps people who are accessing mental health services across the county to find paid employment.

Since the project launched in 2018, employment specialists have been working with people to reconnectDWM.png them with their passions, interests and skills, and use this as a focus for them to find employment.

The employment specialists support individuals every step of their journey back to work, including:

  • benefits counselling
  • CV writing and interview skills
  • job applications
  • a personalised vocational profile to offer suggestions on work being an effective part of their recovery 
  • work with their clinical team to offer full support every step of the way
  • job coaching to build confidence in the workplace
  • work trials to take the pressure off of the interview process
  • personalised return to work planning
  • support and advice with disclosing their health conditions to the employer.

Employment specialists are skilled at working with employers to negotiate personalised reasonable adjustments and to ensure that the right support is in place to sustain work.  

Feedback about Dorset Work Matters…


A family member of a client said:

“The difference in my wife after the very first phone call was incredible. Someone just got it. And not only got it - but could sympathise, empathise, listen, support, tell her she wasn’t going mad and it wasn’t all in her head.”

“Her employment specialist not only supported with current employment, but she has continued to be there supporting with updating her CV and advising on covering letters when applying for new roles, job searching and support throughout interviews.”

“The service has been absolutely invaluable on so many levels, and I don’t want to even think about the consequences of this support not being there throughout this journey.”


A CMHT team member said:

“The patients that I have referred to Dorset Work Matters have had really positive outcomes as a result of the support they have received. This has included supporting people to find work as part of their recovery journey. This support has helped people to recognise the role of meaningful activities in their recovery, rather than ‘waiting to feel better’ and this has resulted in some client’s mental health being stable enough to be discharged from a Community Mental Health Team. The team and our patients have greatly benefitted from the input of the DWM workers.”

How referrals are made

The service accepts any patient aged 18-plus, who is supported by a Community Mental Health Team and who expresses an interest in looking for paid.

Our employment specialists can meet with the Care Co-ordinator to discuss and complete a joint referral, thereby ensuring the best possible sharing of relevant information, or referrals can be made via email, telephone call or a hand-delivered written referral.  

We also accept self-referrals and would, in this instance, liaise and work closely with the treating clinician (with patient consent), to build a safe return-to-work action plan.

Contact us

For further information, email Dorset Work Matters or telephone 01202 584486.

Dorset HealthCare’s Work Services